This is one of those episodes that I feel like I don't have a lot to say about, because it's just a string of things I like, both character-things and useful-plot-information-things. So I'm sitting here typing variations on, “Oh, they're all cute when they're fucking with Scott's dad!” and “I like Lydia's mom!” and “Ha! Derek.” But that's sort of boring. It's a good episode that advances the season plot, and...I don't know what to say about most of it!
“Is that worse than stealing?” “It's smarter” is perhaps the briefest possible summation of the difference between Scott and Stiles. It's like one of those ten-word story challenges. It's Hemingwayesque.
I like the exchange about the imaginary naked pictures on Kira's phone. I'm not an expert by any means, but isn't it the case that kitsunes are generally associated with a certain free sexuality in Japanese folklore, like nymphs and mermaids in European culture? I guess if you get to be nine hundred years old, you start getting pretty keen to spice things up! But I like the implication that she's starting from a fairly chill place on the subject, too. One wonders if Scott's going to be able to keep up with her.
Of course Stiles can't leave Scott for dead. I mean, it's hilarious that he even thought he was capable of that, isn't it? Taking crazy suicidal risks for Scott isn't a dragon that he's going to stop chasing any time soon. Stiles is also, by the way, insanely creepy with his “Guess what? I know it, too.” I'm sad now, actually, having to suspect that isn't entirely Stiles. Maybe it is, though! I prefer to believe that it is. If ever Stiles was going to go Sith Lord on somebody, McCall seems like he fits the bill. People who are mean to his dad and people who are mean to Scott are Stiles' two least-favorite kinds of people.
The black-light party seems fun. But it also seems very 90s to me. This is the same show that's already tried to convince me that The Kids Today are into raves, and I'm still not sure I'm buying it.
It's nice to see Caitlin back! She's pretty drunk, and that probably helps! I feel like her conversation with Stiles is the last big hurrah on the playing around with Stiles' sexuality, which makes it bittersweet in retrospect. I mentioned in one of the very early recaps that I kind of played around with both readings of Stiles – that he was testing out the waters on his possible queerness in ways that he could walk back even to himself if he had to, and that he was the Straightest Man In the World and gave it too little thought to consistently perform his heterosexuality for others. Obviously the first reading was always my favorite, so I can't say I necessarily succeeded in holding them both against each other objectively, if there even is such a thing as objectively. But I really didn't retire Stiles' Straightest Man in the World jersey for good until this episode. It's his clumsy inability to track what Caitlin is saying about bisexuality, and it's his stunned speechlessness when she confronts him with the idea that they could potentially be alike in that way. As my friend Caroline pointed out, “The Straightest Man In the World knows the answer to that question.” And Stiles just very obviously doesn't. He doesn't even know where to begin. He doesn't know it's something you can be. That alters every reading of the character forever for me. I can't see him as having Scott's essential breezy attitude toward the subject – Scott who freely admits Danny's cute and thinks being the hot girl is a charming compliment – because you can't be breezy about something you haven't considered and digested – not saying Scott is necessarily the Straightest Man in the World either; he could just as easily be the kind of person who thinks the occasional boy is hot and doesn't see anything especially weird about that (I still maintain he flirts hella hard with Danny on more than one occasion), but either way it's something he's considered. And Stiles never has. The scene just doesn't make the slightest bit of sense as it's written and played unless you accept that Stiles has never posed the “Do I like boys?” question to himself before this very moment.
Also, of course Stiles tries to hydrate her. Goddamn, these are the nicest fucking kids. I love that this show exists in a sea of pop cultural Grimdark Gritty Assholery. You don't realize how shitty everyone on tv is these days until you discover the game preserve where they keep all the characters you'd actually like to know. (It's also apparently where they keep all the good music. I just discovered Adrian Lux from this episode, so thanks, show!)